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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  February 16, 2010 1:00am-2:00am EST

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>> thank you. glad to be here. on this rather crisp january day. there is an old saying no matter how popular you are, the size will depend on the web they're. we're glad to see some money at of view with the temperatures hovering at negative 81960. three president's three very different personality is. three ambitions, all ultimately for the same office. the leadership of the free world as the use the term back then but the ambitions are vastly different. john f. kennedy his is an
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ambition of a dynasty. in some sense a political dynasty and a financial dynasty. his father was the first hot days was it to be the first catholic president but was derailed on 1940 when he takes the wrong side of the isolationist debate prior to world war ii and transfers those ideas to his son who in august, 1944 coming in the ever to equal his younger brother jfk plight plight, is piloting a bomber across the english channel filled with perhaps the greatest load of tea and tea in the history of mankind. somewhere across the english channel, that plane blows to
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bits. they never find a piece of him. rendered -- windows are shattered in london because it is so severe. that is the end of the plan for the presidency. those ambitions are transferred to john f. kennedy, jr. hookah up until this point* never saw him as a journalist perhaps a historian not sure what he would be. he is a dreamer but when old joe wants you to do something, his son's do it. so he runs for congress. by 1960, and the ambition that was not his for the presidency, he is ready to run. lyndon baines johnson belongs to a different sort of dynasty or ambition. his family was a dynasty on
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the way down. his family owned lands and the slaves in texas. and his father was a member of the state legislature. but he works his way down on the social and political scale. when he is in the legislature sam johnson and sponsors a bill to have a road constructed by there hometown. by the time it is to be constructed, johnson is not only a former member of the state legislature but working on the road crew doing manual labor, pushing wheelbarrows, that is how far the johnson family had fallen. very, very quickly. and lyndon johnson and the sort of like scarlett o'hara
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and "gone with the wind", it does not promise to go hungry again. he promises never to be the idealistic fooled his father had been which played a promising political career in two working on that word crew and lyndon thought he would succeed not only in the most nefarious of ways politically but also that let everybody know how clever and nefarious he was. he works himself up from congressional aide the united states senator elected to the u.s. senate by 87 votes. those are high and the fraudulent. he is known as lions side blended for the rest of his life even after he has achieved a very great landslide of his own 1964. he becomes senate majority
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leader of great responsibility and power unprecedented really. he is the number two most powerful person in the country in the 1950's and once to be president in 1960. a lot. the third ambition is richard millhouse nixon. as his story begins, they're very small compared to jfk and lbj. he is a typical american. the family is not going up or down they moved to california to get away from the cold and heated trolley cars of north. nixon goes to school and does well and is a great student, he excels in debating at duke and wants to be with the fbi. but then we changed our
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mind. you can add to that. maybe then the city attorney for whittier california and that appears to be as far as he is going into the world were to until he enrolled in the navy and k mount in 1946, you are intelligent and energetic veterans. he is elected to congress with a rough campaign and stumbles into what history now knows as the alger hiss case as the assistant secretary of state and in 1940 another fellow named whitaker chambers testifies in front of a house that not only was and alger hiss a communist, but an espionage agent so we had government. most people think it is far
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faxed -- farfetched for grabbers nixon did not want to but after listening more if things did not add up the investigates the case and he is convicted of perjury, nixon those that of the senate in 1950 and in 52 the vice presidency of the united states, and he is 39 years old. very young. and by 1960 he was to be president of the united states as well. there is a lot of comparisons between 1960 and 2008. these things start off with primaries. they seem to go on and on and on forever. the praise and has started during the progressive area during world war i, and by a
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1960 the of the iu of their popularity and in their utility. 1960, richard nixon faces no primary opposition. there is a reason for that. in 2006 the republican party took a beating in the races and 1958 the same thing with the ijlp -- g.o.p.. it was still basically a new deal mentioned and the g.o.p. you pour out its welcome in senate races and gubernatorial races eliminating a lot of potential opposition for nixon. one pillow whose reputation was made was rockefeller. governor of new york, old and brash and energetic and liberal and very wealthy.
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it wants to be president in 1960 with the more he campaigns, the more he finds so less support of the republican party so he pulled the of the race. when he does this, that is the stuff from the republican nominating process. to deflect any attention from the republican race because there is no race. much but like after john mccain secure the nomination of 2008 very early. everyone focuses on the hotly contested democratic race. both john mccain and richard nixon and comment 1960 all attention goes to the primary season to the democratic side of that while. that, when we talk about primaries, we are talking
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to. maybe eight or nine officially, most are vicomtesse, not contested or are contested by lower ranked guys the only to that amount to anything our wisconsin and west virginia and their jfk is out to prove he can be viable and does not have to prove it again because lyndon johnson is back room and the deal maker and will not go into the primaries and they don't account for that much. he will not waste is the first. taking a shot against jack kennedy in the primaries which are not new hampshire.
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they are wisconsin and west virginia. united states senator from minnesota the former crusading mayor of minneapolis. hubert humphrey really, not a very viable even though he will be the democratic nominee, he is registering a solid 2%. but when you are the only guy showing up against jack kennedy all the senate and the race is transferred to jack kennedy verses hubert humphrey much as 2,008, barack obama emerges as the anti-him every candidate then she emerges as the anti-obamacare today. in 1960 hubert humphrey is said candidate so then they
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coalesce around him. kennedy thinks he will win very easily in wisconsin he is surprised as bad polling data that causes him to campaign in the wrong parts of the state and hubert humphrey turns out to do surprisingly well in wisconsin which she was about to give up. he had no money. very minimal support organization to the great candid the machine or family and actually it was a good thing for jack kennedy that he does because west virginia is 97 percent protestant, jack kennedy initial poll numbers were strong but as more people come to the realization that this guy is catholic, the numbers fall like a rock. it looks like you were humphrey campeau will pay great ups cut and the real
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jack kennedy. but he had a great deal of retail politics bring in the family into campaign with the hollows of west virginia , shaking a lot of fans and face his head on. previously even in wisconsin, it contains the highest percentage of catholics in the midwest. it was a relatively safe state for him. when he would address the catholic issue, somewhat less but still significant, the would say do now hold my catholicism against me. until he gets to west virginia where he plays on the patriotism of his state which is a huge number of
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people per capita very patriotic they respected his service in world war ii and nobody my religion are my eight brothers religion when we fought after pearl harbor and they respected that. added joe kennedy's urging they bring in the franklin roosevelt, jr. to campaign. franklin roosevelt's himself was very, very popular and they built a lot of stuff and the new deal really impacting west virginia. subterranean rose about and heftier, jr. and he brings up the war record or lack there of them basically decry as a draft dodger and
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jack kennedy says he wished he had not brought that up. that was terrible and i disassociate from the fact that hubert humphrey never served in world war ii and went thing leads to another and there are modifications of the involvement but there was some. how lot of money is poured into west virginia. even though jack kennedy is very nervous, so nervous he flies to washington d.c. to hide out. but not to downplay and he gets the call from kennedy kennedy, you wind. that is basically the end of hubert humphrey's campaign
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and the primaries. it is over. but not the nomination. where has landed johnson bed? he has not been a candidate. he only and balances his candidacy for the presidency of the united states one week before the convention starts. this is not sound like a great strategy. but it does make more sense back then. in 1952, tom due we capture the nomination and then 1940 on the sixth ballot and the third ballot, we take it for granted it will be cut and dry. this was not a given and
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lyndon johnson is counting on the backroom deal that he can go to his fellow senators and twist arms and he will arrive with enough votes in his pocket so that in the second and fourth third fifth ballot he can the rail jack kennedy. he feels almost the same way. robert kennedy says we don't win on the first ballot, we don't win at all. it was very, very closely run. even in the primaries to the convention and there are a lot of promises made and said very much larger than this one day give all people the price presidency to that year. you remember from kansas and iowa? they all thought they would
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be vice president knew there was orville from minnesota. jack kennedy, roll-call is well then by the time it gets to wyoming, he is so were the top but to show how closely run that was, of revenue capture wyoming, it was very closely run. so then jack kennedy for real confronts the issue will his vice president the? who will be their running mate? barack obama could have chosen and the super ticket and selected helleri clinton and somebody who would bring a great demographic edge to the ticket. 1961 was a battle as was the 20,008th. will lay a black man be
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elected president? can a woman be elected president? in 1960 everyone remembers the aspirations of catholics but they are forgetting what did johnson was facing the same thing. the being a southerner, just before the civil war. now we taken for granted. we have johnson and jimmy carter, it to bush's and some say obligor elected president. say we have to prove clinton johnson did not do that. lyndon johnson still has tremendous clout in the south. jack kennedy had weaknesses both because of the catholic
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issue and civil-rights issue and because the south was trending back for the first time to the republican party , apple let loose when eisenhower it could slide even more under jack kennedy. you had to play nice if you were jack kennedy. but it does see? he makes them joe biden choice and takes the safe choice initially. somebody who may be can't hurt you but it will not hurt days help you. he will offer the vice presidency and private to a senator from missouri. the but before it is made public jack kennedy's wheels start rolling. he really a out of courtesy should offer this to linda in. we will not take it.
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he is senate majority leader and has immense power. he lives for power. he will not be vice president. rose about vice president said a vice president isn't worth of bucket of spent. johnson knew that and saw what the realities were. when jack kennedy trundled down the stairs to lyndon johnson's sweeten the middle of the night to offer the vice presidency, he is quite shocked when he picks up some. and everybody is shocked everybody is upset on all sides of the democratic spectrum. robert kennedy, who has always hated lyndon johnson and vice versa it is outraged. kenny o'donnell, of the closest advisers said you have these trade every single person that has
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supported you in your first move as the nominee. and the labor unions are outraged but americans for democratic action are outraged and on lyndon johnson's side come with the southern senators, the allies are just flabbergasted. they'll want to lose their allied come with their man in leadership in the senate and a projector late upset our fellow texans, lyndon johnson fellow texans. everybody is mad. but politics is politics. jack kennedy tells o'donnell, i am 43 years old. i am not going to die an office. don't worry. everybody kiss and make up. johnson is used to a great defect in the south, they do not know what to do with him
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and the rest of the country and he does not want to campaign in the rest of the country but is an asset to the democratic ticket. >> richard nixon decides to go for the super ticket option. his inclination is to offer the nomination to nelson rockefeller. then at new york really was the empire state with 45 electoral votes and a big estate and the biggest prize than nelson rockefeller could have helped him but that ego is such he does not want to take the number two slot. he turns them down. at this point* common nixon makes a horrible choice. he selects henry cabot lodge former senator from massachusetts, then the united states ambassador
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from the detonations to be his running mate it is like a peace offering with the moderate establishment wing of the party and a horrendous choice. for one thing, having lost to the senate seat in 19522 jack kennedy, henry cabot lodge has demonstrated there are a few that he cannot even carry his home state in the election. also a terrible campaigner and able to inspire crowds and does not come across well on television. and he is lazy. plain lazy. he will take naps in the afternoon. people are assigned to shepherd the campaign say you have to change -- we don't mind him taking naps but does he have to change into his pajamas every day?
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[laughter] he goes off of the reservation, going in spanish harlem, he makes the announcement that richard nixon will have a black member of his cabinet which is a shock to nixon and he responds and so will up a sun has the effect of alienating both southerners and blacks. it plans for nobody because of the way nixon has handled it and it was done so heartlessly but the civil-rights issue is very important part of the way that richard nixon loses both the white south and the population of the north is key to the election. one of the keys to how that
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happens in false dr. martin it is in -- martin luther king. the black vote which is directly had been republican was coming back to the g.o.p.. 1956, blacks voted 40% for eisenhower. and it looked like it could have held up that way in 1960 but toward the end, martin luther king is moved and arrested and goes to jail for the night to the first time he spends a night in jail. it is not a big deal except not long before that he is pulled over for a move being
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violation and is released on parole. when he is arrested it is a violation of the parole and rural georgia decides you are going to a prison camp for six months for a traffic violation. this is pretty are rages it is a tough prison camps. the of king family particularly coretta scott king feared for martin luther king's life. that was a question of what would you do? richard nixon and black advisers said can you intervened or make a statement? he said you cannot interfere with a judge's sentence but there is politics to hide behind and trying to win
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both camps does not getty there. jack kennedy is a prize to make a phone call, a simple phone call to coretta scott king and to extend his sympathies. but it was fraught with peril because it could alienate the south. he does this and then robert kennedy was very upset with that phone call but then was a go-between he is released the weekend before the election black neighborhoods in the north are flooded with 45 million pieces of literature of how the kennedys helped while nixon did nothing and also radio ads on five stations. jack kennedy bumps the
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percentage of the black votes up. it is not overwhelming but nowadays it is 9495% and is not a given and even after this still manages to hold about 30% of the black vote but it is enough of the eyelash type of the election as 1960 began, the candidate of the television age was not jack kennedy. it was richard nixon. why? because richard nixon candidacy, political life, from 1952 after to charge with a slush fund and thrown off the ticket, the republican ticket by july 8 eisenhower never had a good
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relationship and one of the great problems of this relationship stood by his speech which was the most widely watched television program for a long time in television history. then saved by another broadcast with khrushchev where he stands up for american free enterprise against soviet totalitarianism and says your children are for freedom but he is slated guy who should win the debate in the 1960 when they decide to move into a debate format. and how do structure these things? you can structure like lincoln and douglas were you talk for hours on one topic but instead they opted for the format we have today which is a series of debates
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, moderators, wide-ra nging: questions and jack kennedy come when they did not know how he could do. pay did not have a reputation as a great or greater, spoke very fast and his voice would rise to a high pitch. how would he do? he did not know his record was negligible with some success with labor racketeering but was not the work force of the senate. he had other activities he was pursuing nixon has nothing to gain excepted the does not debate. another issue is that he is afraid. it seems like he will win and as we know, he did not. it is a question of when of the many ironies of the 1960
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campaign where richard nixon had been healthy his whole life and kennedy had always been sick. twice and the last rites of the catholic church and was so ill and 60 days six rebutted 1960 he is feeling pretty well. his back is not too bad. added sen disease is not too bad. nixon bangs his knee on a car door it throws the strategy to campaign in all 50 states. the first time anybody would do this and he has to rush when he gets out of the hospital. he is sick and makes himself sector. this is just before the first great big debate in chicago. kennedy is healthy and hong confident and well-prepared and aggressive.
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nixon is sick, lost weight, his serve -- shirt hanging loose upon him and has certain physical characteristics. he does not react well so he sweats a lot. a lot. and he shifts his eyes about a great deal of left aside from that coming he starts off with the first 20 minutes of this debate in a very cringing way. in the first upon the mccain debate obama was criticized for agreeing at eight times with mccain that is shown as a sign of weakness. richard nixon took this two extreme and said earlier, this is still a democratic nation big a
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voter registration for the democratic party. jack kennedy rarely spoke and always emphasized the fact he was a democrat and a new it was lending. he starts out in the opening and says i represent the party of roosevelt and truman and we have brought you so security and the tennessee valley authority and electrification and all of these good things and extend represents harding and coolidge and hoover the party that brought you the great depression and howard k. smith. mr. nixon how do you respond? >> i have no comment. >> this is basically taking the fifth amendment. this is not good. and nixon pulls himself up for that.
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his body language is still very poor. he has the 5:00 shadow going on mixing case was the 8:00 shadow. foley fact of the visual effect of nixon was one of gft aide said by looking like an escaped convict using can look like the original fugitive. [laughter] johnson is listening in the radio thinking nixon has won but on tv they think he has lost. he did well but all the first debates really count. you don't get a second chance to make a first impression of the nixon has been around for crow that is
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the defining point* of the election. it goes to be a very, very close election. all year aside from jack kennedy's pollsters in the primaries when they say it is close. and it is. in the electoral college, if it is not the popular votes, it is. there is the "congressional quarterly" for because of those staying in the south who was on the balance that says richard nixon got more popular votes then jack kennedy and even if he didn't, it was incredibly narrow. only in six states does kennedy get more than 52% of about, one is turgid and what is your 10 the other is 52% and also will landslide states. it goes to the middle of the night kumbaya jack kennedy
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goes to bed not knowing if he will win or lose. although before he goes to bed, he gets us a call from their daily from chicago that says senator, with a little help from your friends in chicago, you will be president of united states of america. considering the poles had a close there is nothing they can do legally at this hour. between richard daley and-- to shared a mistress with jack kennedy at that time who controlled certain words in the city and winded johnson old friends in texas, the final results of that election were controversial project aides to come. jack kennedy is awoke in the next morning by ted sorensen and thus peter salinger told
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he has won the presidency and a way for several hours for the concession and instead robert, press secretary to nixon comes out and says it is over. we wish you the bus. i don't know. saying he comes out with the same when he went in. no class. kennedy has attained his ambition. ultimately, it would be a question of all three ambitions but be careful what you wish for. jack kennedy achieve the presidency and travel to dallas and we know what happened. lyndon johnson becomes president of the united states and here retain the
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office or jack kennedy but also a little thing called a vietnam and he must leave the presidency under a cloud, a very bitter which enables richard nixon, his comeback. in 1972 when he runs against hubert humphrey, r after he has beaten in 1968, there is the watergate break-in. very mystified not so much the cover up but the original motive. one of the theory is is they are breaking into the laila's now the dnc chairman to ascertain what he knows about nixon's connections to howard hughes because he had also worked for kennedy and
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adversely was not pulling in the campaign and in the 1960 election there are a million things you can say one of them were allegations toward the end with the nixon family richard nixon's brother from howard hughes. the unsecured loan which not only help to the rail nixon in 1960 but also governor of california. under the shadow of 1962 which was nixon's downfall ultimately. there you have a question and a case of three ambitions, finally realized, hopes and dreams finally destroyed and agreed
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great personal and presidential tragedy's. thank you very much. [applause] >> if you have any questions please raise your hand. >> i have a question whether you have seen frost and nixon yen and what you thought of it. secondly, there is a scene depicted that happened before a the final day of taping in which nixon lubricated by alcohol calls frost at his hotel the night before and engages in a rambling discussion of how they are similar and have these resentments. i am wondering is that license storer to you have any information?
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>> i am not a great movie persian nowadays but nixon was soon made duplicated the night he told the press in 1962 you will not have richard nixon to kick around anymore. he was really blasted then. in terms of the bitterness bitterness, one thing i really did not touch on was the eisenhower and nixon relationship where he really was on thin ice all through the 1950's. in 1952 he was all we'll stem from the ticket in 1956 and eisenhower offered a number of the other post and during that election eisenhower stayed away from him. it was a very telling moment
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at the rnc in 1960 where eisenhower flies into chicago, as the motorcade performance and everyone has a chance to see and chair and who does he ride with? the chairman of the rnc, the senator from kentucky for richard nixon is waiting at the hotel and does not get to ride with them. even on election day eisenhower flies helicopters then comes out of the with the reporter says who did you vote for? he plans to his watch a little tiny pictures they are the face of his grandchildren and said i voted for them even then he says he will the vote for nixon for you can see why nixon was so insecure because he was always
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fighting for his political life. i think and 196 the election increased the bitterness. of the question of those in chicago and taxes, historians may debate this but if you are richard nixon, you are thinking about this all the time and say this will not happen to me again krakow of this is the way the game is played played, this is who i will play a. and i play it very badly. >> acute have a very amusing anecdote toward the end of the buck with nixon on election day 60 fractal would you care to share that with us? >> mix and of course, , is the ultimate control freak. the man who runs everything a self and not exactly a free spirit. but on election day he is on
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little tract house in california and gets in a car and goes to see his mother and such and he and strikes the driver to pull over and peoples of the car and six ingots in behind the wheel and speeds off and ditches the entourage and two guys are with him with the military attache and the los angeles police sgt like joe friday. [laughter] and he just wanted to get away from everything and stearns to drive south from orange county and the south and south and in another day knows where he is. where is the vice president? we know where he is. they have no idea. he stops for gas and keeps going down.
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somebody says vice president, we're almost two tiajuana. tiajuana? i have been there for 20 years. ever done there? let's go. [laughter] on election day the leader of the free world is heading 41 up. -- at tiajuana. at the border he is asking where is a good place for mexican food? [laughter] they tell him. so nixon and spends luncheon time at heidelberg getting a mexican food then he heads back across the border and if the ball at the customers are asking the usual custom of questions. and asks if they are also this inappropriate he says i
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am but i don't know about the guy in the back. [laughter] but he gets to whine capistrano but then he says the first wisps spends the day of the church? then and there waving to them so that is richard nixon's excellent did venture. any other questions? >> of like to know your opinion on the future of the national political convention and light of everything being a done deal are they on the verge of becoming obsolete? or is it just too big of a commercial for the parties not to put on? >> there is no drama any
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more. >> but to say i am a historian, not a profit so it is always dangerous to predict. history does help to give you some perspective and it helps you. but we almost saw a brokered convention this year. it did not happen that the superdelegates if they have broken the other way or had just split, it could have been a first or second ballot kind of thing with tremendous attention. if you get the feel which is so fractured, if it is not very compact in the minors
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situation and if you'd get mccain very quickly but if things stretched out and do have a fractured convention and no front-runner emerges it could be interesting. or you could have a big fight over platforms with the democrats from 1968. you can get some drama. even in the 1960 convention, there was a drama with richard nixon had flown to new york to keep nelson rockefeller on board which kicked off the conservatives to kick off the nomination for barry goldwater for the nomination for errors 64 tell the whole nomination of the party until this day.
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one of the advantages i have is that i have 40 or 50 years to be able to see what turns out. he did not have that because he could not know this it began its of cold water, or the democratic her hubert humphrey or that all three men would turn out to be president. that answer is, who knows? >> you present a very balanced book but it is not in the book so it makes me think it never happened. the theory has always been an nixon says in his book, he did not challenge the election in illinois because of his magnanimous in nature.
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magnanimous nature and nixon are not synonymous. i was always told the reason he did not challenge chicago is you've was three put -- approached by the republic it saying do not touch that box we may have been out cheated. it is not a question of magnanimous but do not go near it and let it go and he does not address that and you don't address that which makes me wonder if it ever happened. >> one of the things not so much magnanimity, but did he realize the mechanisms weren't there to effectively challenge these things? what is going on in minnesota? how long does it take to count these things? i am not sure the state
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senate election and queens counting until last week's who particulate and the statewide saying with the retail mechanisms are not downplay so archive have tied up the presidency forever, who knows? i would hazard a guess that the democrats are better at stealing boats and there are probably more boats to steal. now the theory is spreading somebody says don't tell lynch illinois. i'm not sure where that comes from. as a historian, if you see something like at and don't see any documentation and, the thing about chicago
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is the allegations of it and the investigations were beginning in october. appearing in "the chicago tribune", that's bereday the was really gearing up to steal the election. there was a bridge match where the state's attorney from cook county was up for reelection and a former democrat, of former daley ally and wanted to get this guy a big-time. if you could steal the presidency in the bar again, so much the better. one of the little things about texas and illinois, every mistake ll
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losing candidate is magnified and a winning candidate for a military campaign year tends to be not important. when the allies landed on the wrong beach, you wind. and nicks in the last week of the campaign flies up to us good to keep the 50 state pledges and all historians go that is the dumbest thing. white-haired -- are you doing this? keeping his word is something you do not a social with nixon. but kennedy has the same problem and wants to be end california. and he has stuck by his campaign which is stupid. alaska had been projected for the democrats and he hates that. if he does not lose our take alaska or takes illinois and
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taxes and get the three votes he loses. the wheels are always turning. but i think that is it for our timeframe. those are great questions. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> what are your reading? >> and is now finishing "the lost symbol" which i had been reading by listening to it on cd in the car. and in terms of the book i am reading, holding in my hand is a book about running that japanese novelist wrote to. and it is what i think about what i am running. i am not a runner but what goes through his mind. i always try to have a non-fiction thing going at the same time. that is where i am. >> i fully expected to hear some public policy title from new. >> guy read that stuff but that is where my job.

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